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Edmond officials question CitiLink express bus route change plan

Proposed CitiLink bus route change would provide service from Edmond to new Social Security building in northwest Oklahoma City.
by Diana Baldwin and William Crum Modified: September 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm •  Published: September 2, 2013
/articleid/3878654/1/pictures/2198525">Photo -  A rider steps off an Edmond Citylink bus after returning from downtown Oklahoma City,   Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Archives
A rider steps off an Edmond Citylink bus after returning from downtown Oklahoma City, Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Archives

The new Social Security building, scheduled to open in March, is in far northern Oklahoma City. It will replace the Social Security office at Shepherd Mall. A federal regulation requires public transportation to stop at the Social Security office, Shadid said.

The new building will be the workplace for up to 65 employees. Officials anticipate there will be 300 customers a day and 30 of those customers will ride the bus, he said.

“Citylink is a City of Edmond program,” Caldwell said. “It is important to me that the express bus is an express bus.”

Ruffin and Preftakes need an answer quickly because the new Social Security office is to open in March.

“We need to see if Edmond has a serious interest,” Shadid said. “Edmond should be. This meets the mission of Expresslink. This is a much better fit. The building is almost in Edmond.”

Metro Transit spokesman Michael Scroggins said it would cost well in excess of $200,000 per year for Oklahoma City buses to serve the new Social Security office.

Oklahoma City and the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority are working on plans to increase Metro Transit ridership.

Consultants say more frequent service on existing routes should be a top goal, and the city council has budgeted an additional $1 million for bus service.

“The new transit system plan does not recommend extending service to the newly proposed Social Security offices,” Scroggins said.

He said public transit services to the new location are “difficult to justify” because it is remote, with low housing density and poor access for pedestrians.

The closest Metro Transit bus is Route 18, which stops at Britton Road and NE Kelley.

“Under existing conditions, providing service to this location would disrupt riders' ability to make timely connections throughout the entire system,” Scroggins said.

“To encourage transit ridership, it is important to offer seamless transportation — safe, efficient, and fast connections between origin and destination, including getting to and from the bus stops,” he said.

by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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by William Crum
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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